Knowing When To Hire An Attorney To Evaluate A Merger, Acquisition Or Divestiture Of Your Business
Oftentimes, clients contact us with the intent to merge, buy or sell their company and they are well into the process (see Stages 7 and 8 at right); already with an identified strategic partner or even a signed Letter of Intent or Memorandum of Understanding between the parties. At that point, we assist them with conducting due diligence and drafting the legal documents to support their negotiations. Many times, we identify agreed upon terms that, if we had been involved earlier in the process to assist with negotiations, would have likely resulted in a more beneficial result to the client either financially or in mitigated risks identified, or both. When we do that for our clients, we usually hear that they wish they had brought us into the process sooner, leading to feelings of missed opportunities that we could have assisted with earlier in the process.
For clients that hire us for strategic planning prior to the negotiation stage (Stage 6 above) we find that their outcome is much more favorable at signing, and they feel that they ended up with the best outcome for their transaction. For clients who hire us prior to negotiation, to assist with acquisition planning (Stage 4 above) and beyond, we can generally assist them to achieve their best possible outcome. We do this by assessing the most tax efficient method of merger, divestiture or acquisition for our clients and take the transactional dealings from there.
We provide our clients with the best possible legal assistance when we are able to assist them on a day-to-day operational basis and understand their strategic goals. By partnering with our clients as their go-to counsel, we get to know the ins and outs of their business. With that knowledge, we assist them in making the most beneficial decisions because we know how they operate, their values and what success means to them. This, of course, occurs way before the first step in the M&A lifecycle is even in consideration; it occurs during the company’s formation and through operation. A lot happens during this evolution and by the time a merger, purchase or buyout occurs, we have been counsel to those clients for several years and can identify the best successful outcome for them.